Burns & Allen---Classic Radio: The "Gracie for President" Stunt
All twelve episodes of The Hinds Honey & Almond Cream Program Starring George Burns & Gracie Allen (CBS) in which America's favourite illogical logician runs for President during mid-1940s. (Among other things, she didn't know all that much about the Lend-Lease Bill, but she said that if we owed it, we should pay it.) Featuring Frank Parker, Truman Bradley (announcer), and music by Ray Noble and His Orchestra.
Believe it or not, the birth of the gag came when Burns & Allen's writers (including George Burns himself) were kicking around ideas for a new stunt into which to place Gracie---the show was experiencing a ratings slip, and memories of the immortal search for Gracie's missing brother in 1933 still remained powerful. Someone suggested running her for office; say, a governorship. Apparently, George saw and raised: governor, hell, why not the White House?
The gag caught on so that the couple even booked a Union Pacific whistlestop strain, doing several broadcasts from the train and Gracie proving a hit with her inside-out campaign speeches. Even Eleanor Roosevelt got in on the gag---she invited Gracie to speak to the National Women's Press Club convention, where she thrilled the gathering by promising to change Washington's name from D.C. to A.C.---the better to assure her electric clocks would work properly.
As with the missing-brother gag, the Gracie-for-President gag criss-crossed networks, with Gracie popping up on various shows making quick campaign quips, or with other comedies' writers inserting joking references to the campaign. This is still considered one of the greatest gags in old-time radio comedy history.